The EU in Laos is providing support for the export of Lao goods to the European market through training sessions for government officials and associated parties.
A training session conducted in Vientiane on August 2 was co-chaired by the political officer at the EU in Laos, Francois Pravongviengkham, and Ministry of Industry and Commerce director-general for Foreign Trade Policy Saysana Sayakone. The training aimed to boost officials’ knowledge of market trends as well as Laos’ export potential.
The Covid-19 crisis this year has severely affected all countries in the world, disrupted the lives of millions of people and made governments readjust their macroeconomic plans, Saysana said. He underscored the importance of trade diversification to mitigate the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Francois said: “Thanks to decisive and swift action by the government to clamp down on a second wave, Laos has limited the spread of the virus, but the indirect effects of the lockdown on the national economy can potentially be even more disruptive in the longer run.”
It is therefore essential to rebuild back better and in a sustainable and green approach across all sectors and the ministry will be instrumental to that intention, he added.
The EU-supported ARISE Plus Lao PDR programme launched in 2019 and is meant to promote inclusive economic growth, increase climate change resilience and mitigate economic vulnerability while fostering job creation, and sets out to match the priorities put forward by the Lao government.
The EU says it is committed to support Laos’ economic and social development through trade preferences. In the longer run, the EU will try to accelerate reforms to promote the diversification of trade partners for Laos.
Improvement of the business climate, supported by improved connectivity, will be pivotal to strengthening economic and social resilience and ensure that Laos can reap the full benefits of infrastructure investments made in recent years.
To achieve these objectives, the International Trade Centre is supporting the Lao government to attain certain expected results.
These include increasing regional economic integration by implementing measures contained in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and related ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 commitments, increasing awareness of trade preferences for exports, including to the EU, and facilitating support for trade and investment promotion in targeted sectors.
VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK